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Articles by Melissa Sweet

Health leaders pile pressure on Australian Government to step up on #Ebola

The Australian Government has been urged to step up its response to the global Ebola crisis and take a leadership role – in boosting Australia’s role in relief efforts, as well as in contributing more usefully to public debate. The call comes from Christopher Cliffe, CEO of CRANAplus, an organisation representing remote area health professionals [...]

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Healthcare may be about to get (even more) expensive for patients

Patients who already have high out of pocket costs for X-rays, CT scans and other imaging services are facing even higher costs as a result of little-understood Federal Budget changes. Representatives of the Australian Diagnostic Imaging Association gave evidence to the Senate Select Committee on health last week about how patients will face significant upfront [...]

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Do you support the No Ads Please campaign? It’s a fair question to ask your doctor, say consumer health advocates

More than 200 health professionals have taken a pledge to ban pharmaceutical reps from their rooms since the launch last week of the No Advertising Please campaign, and it’s interesting to read some of their comments. For example: GP Dr John Boffa wrote: Academic detailing influences the prescribing of doctors substantially and it should only [...]

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On the power of storytelling for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Marie McInerney reports: “Once upon a time, there was a place where children were loved and safe to grow up as they should, happy, healthy, and free to dream dreams and achieve brilliance….” This is the story Professor Helen Milroy wants us all one day to be able to tell, when we have been able [...]

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From 12 patients to 10,000: building an Indigenous health success story

Marie McInerney reports: Twenty years ago, only 12 Indigenous people attended the Inala Community Health Centre, a primary care service in a south-western Brisbane suburb where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were estimated to make up eight per cent of the local population. Clinical director Associate Professor Noel Hayman commissioned an Indigenous community focus [...]

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Launched: crowdfunding campaign for an app promoting greater accountability in healthcare

Delia Scales, a former nurse whose personal experience of cancer treatment made her acutely aware of health system failings, is on a mission to create greater transparency and accountability in healthcare. Scales, founder of the WikiHospitals news and information site, today launched a crowd-funding campaign to create an app that aims to provide: • An [...]

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New campaign urges doctors to stop seeing drug reps

A new campaign, to be formally launched at the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners conference in Adelaide on Saturday, will urge doctors to stop seeing pharmaceutical company reps. The “No Advertising Please” campaign aims to reduce inappropriate and harmful prescription of medications. It asks doctors to take a pledge – already signed by more [...]

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On the “two worlds” of Indigenous knowledge and Western science

Marie McInerney reports: Current and future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors and medical scientists have been urged to ensure their “two worlds” of Indigenous knowledge and Western science converge across their professional lives, from high level research through to  community health care. Leading public health researcher Professor Sandra Eades – a Nyungar woman from [...]

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Wonky Health asks: will deregulation of higher education be a nightmare for the health sector?

As suggested in the tweet below by AMA vice president Dr Stephen Parnis, there are widespread concerns about how the Federal Government’s proposed deregulation of higher education will affect the health system. Parnis was scheduled to present in Canberra this morning to a Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee inquiry into the proposed reforms.  Public hearings are [...]

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Three Indigenous doctors share the stories of their journeys into medicine

Marie McInerney reports: One of the much loved traditions at the Australian Indigenous Doctor’s Association conference each year is the presentation to new medical graduates of special stethoscopes – in the colours of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags. This year, for the first time, they also marked an intergenerational milestone. Australia’s first Indigenous [...]

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